Why Do Jews Vote Democrat?

My first contact with a Jewish person came when I was in my thirties. The vastness of west Texas can be isolating, so I must confess to being rather uneducated about Jews, with most of what I knew taken from their Biblical history. However, when you move into a neighborhood where a number of Jewish families live, contact becomes more numerous. I can count now one close Jewish friend. He gave me a gift, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs which I prize dearly.

Since then, I have received Hanukkah cards at Christmas from patients who thought I was Jewish, and one of my daughters was invited to Passover supper by one of her friends. Later, I learned that at the stables where another daughter of mine keeps her horse, there was a Middle Eastern lady who wouldn’t speak with her. When my daughter finally asked her why, the woman replied that she thought my daughter was Jewish. I guess that was because my daughter had attended a Judeo-Christian congregation for a while.

With that background, I decided to investigate why Jews are predominately Democrat. One clue was contained in the reaction of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch to President Obama’s Middle East speech, in which he stated, “I believe this is the most dangerous and critical period that Israel has ever faced, and regrettably it does not have the support of the President of the United States, which in past difficult situations it could count on.”

Koch goes on to say, “I’m a Democrat. I support the Democratic domestic philosophy and policies, and will always be supportive of them, but I have no hesitation in crossing party lines when I think America’s interests demand that I cross party lines”. He also said, “Now, if a Republican candidate were to appear who was good on Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid and support of Israel, I wouldn’t hesitate to cross party lines.” 

His opinion for Jews voting Democrat? “Regrettably the Jewish vote has been tied to the Democratic Party since FDR. No matter who’s running for president, many Jews think it’s still FDR.”

FDR? Franklin Delano Roosevelt? This was the president who refused to allow 900 Jewish refuges from Nazi Germany to enter the United States, and who instructed his Secretary of State to stop accepting Jewish refuges in 1939. Next was Harry Truman, who didn’t think too highly of the UN giving Jews the land to establish Israel. And then, what can be said about Jimmy Carter? He certainly wasn’t hot to trot about Jews. There are several arguably anti-Semitic Democrats in Congress right now, possibly including Congressman Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat and a Muslim. Do you think he loves the Jews?

In recent years, several laws to aid and help Israel have been passed. Most such laws faced strong Democrat opposition even though Republicans, by large majorities, voted for them. Furthermore, the folks on the Christian Right support Israel and the Jews more than any group that is not Jewish itself – and they vote Republican in large majorities.

So logically, why do the Jews vote Democrat?

Rabbi Daniel Lapin remarks on this issue, “Jews and Christians need each other if Biblical Civilization is to survive, which is why I started the American Alliance of Jews and Christians.”

He also said, … I am suggesting, at the very least, that Jews should stop speaking and acting as if Christian America is their enemy. I feel that all Americans who love freedom, whether or not they are religious, should welcome the reawakening of earnest Christianity throughout the land. I shall try to establish that Jews, as well as other minorities, have the most to fear from a post-Christian America”.

I personally like Otis A. Glazebrook’s IV explanation, Once one accepts that Liberalism is a religion this becomes a simpler question. Jewish merely describes a Liberal Jew’s race. It has nothing to do with his/her moral compass. Liberalism, and all its tenets, will come first.”

Perhaps then, Republicans will just have to work to convert the Liberals to the Conservative way of life – even though, ultimately, it may be easier to convert a Muslim to Christianity.

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Categories: Christianity, Conservatives, Democratic Party, Freedom, Judaism, Liberals, Republican Party, World Events

23 replies

  1. My father-in-law was a largely uneducated, depression-trained, hard working, self-sufficient and very conservative businessman. He voted straight Democrat because “Roosevelt saved the country.”
    People leave their brains outside the booth and vote their gut. U.S. Jews aren’t observant anymore, they have Liberal guts and they don’t have to live in Israel.

    • My father had an 6th grade which was all needed by men at the time. He was a county judge, city secretary, school account, real estate appraiser and many other jobs. He too felt FDR saved the country. All his children left the faith and jumped to the other side. I stopped trying to convert him when he threaten to hit me with his cane. He had voted Republican before the depression hit. His allegiance was not to the Democratic Party but to FDR.

  2. Probably their feelings of alienation or “otherness” helped compel them to undermine the foundations that formed this Christian nation. Having ignored the fact that this haven for them saved them from less friendly nations that had already begun turning away from God and worshipping the state. They couldn’t see the forest for the trees. It was primarily the secularist Jews who were embracing communism who fomented a lot of the big government/anti-Christian agenda. Just as leftists have to trot out a selective 50’s era cartoon version of America to scare people into accepting their socio-political agenda, a lot of Jews acted with the premise that if they de-Christianize America, it will be good for the Jews. Just as they decried Hitler’s so-called absolutism, they also attacked any axiom of traditional western civilization as absolutist. Unfortunately, it bites them in the end when people cannot recognize that the National Socialist party of Germany was evil because that would be absolutist. Ditto for those who cannot say for sure that the holocaust even happened because that also would be absolutist. The Jews have to wonder why the left appears to be waxing anti-Semitic and the Christian right is the biggest supporter of Israel.

  3. It’s a puzzle, but I think the real answer might be as simple as “Jews vote for Democrats because that’s what they’ve always done.”

    If I had to guess, it probably has something to do with the constantly repeated (by them) half-truth that Democrats are always on the side of the oppressed minorities — and even the richest Jews are sometimes susceptible to maudlin self pity (probably because of being forced to eat too much gefilte fish as kids).

    Actually, that last sentence is a joke I stole from a friend of mine who is very Jewish and likes to play up the stereotype.

    Anyhow, it’s a matter of consensus. It’s a Jewish thing to be Liberal, because, well Jews are Liberals. But, I am not sure if that will hold now. If enough serious thinkers and movers in the Jewish communities start questioning that, and making serious statements in support of Conservatism, I think it is actually possible that the Jewish bloc could be severed from the Democrats.

  4. This question just plagues my husband. Me too. I have to believe that American Jews are mostly non-religious. I met many kids in college who said they were Jews. Some of them were Russian, which confused me. When asked about nationality vs religion, my friend laughed and said, “Being a Jew has nothing to do with either! Being a Jew is just being part of a People. That is our identity. You don’t have to be an Israeli, nor do you have to be religious at all. Every Jew I know is secular!” I believe her. It would follow, then, that American Jews do not need to be religious or nation bound. Therefore, the forces that make liberals, liberals, would work equally well with them. And some of the forces that makes a Liberal are: a need for elitism and thus, basic insecurity; deep seated racism (let’s feel sorry for Black Americans and Mexican Americans because they are ‘less’ than us. even with the same laws, higher educational benefits, higher protection in laws that punish ‘hate’ crimes, higher amounts of handouts from the government, why these ‘poor’ people simply can’t handle life as well as WE can. So we must take care of the poor dears…) and lastly, lots of money in their pockets which tends to make them out of touch with ‘normal’ Americans. Jewish Americans have these things in droves. Therefore, they are Democrats.

    It is only the truly religious Jews who can see that if America turns its back on Israel, Israel will indeed be alone in the world. And let’s face it, how many rich people are religious?

  5. Haha, I just stumbled across this site looking for statistics on how Jews generally vote (I assumed Democratic). However, I became sidetracked when I read this article and then the responses to it. Clearly, this is a far right wing, ignorant to the masses of the world, anglo, backwoods, uneducated website and readers.
    I am of mixed race and ethnicity who is also Jewish from NYC (New York City). I KNOW FOR A FACT that no one else who responded here has ever lived too far away from their hometown, traveled out of the country for leisure or learning purposes (instead of Christian/religious mission), grew up and around a diverse group of people of different colors, religions, and races, and have forged life long friendships with said groups (i.e. Asian, black, Mediterranean, Hispanic, East and Western European, Buddhists, West Indian, etc). If you did I am 100 percent sure you would understand just how shockingly backwoods all these posts are when someone like me stumbles across them on a random google search!

    I feel sorry for every single one of you, for missing out on what goes on outside of the 4 walls you have chosen to enclose yourselves in.

    PS I am an Independent voter, meaning I can look at issues in multidimensional way before I make a decision, because choosing just one way of thinking is inhuman.

    • Sandra wrote:

      “I KNOW FOR A FACT that no one else who responded here has ever lived too far away from their hometown, traveled out of the country for leisure or learning purposes (instead of Christian/religious mission), grew up and around a diverse group of people of different colors, religions, and races, and have forged life long friendships with said groups (i.e. Asian, black, Mediterranean, Hispanic, East and Western European, Buddhists, West Indian, etc). If you did I am 100 percent sure you would understand just how shockingly backwoods all these posts are when someone like me stumbles across them on a random google search!”

      Well we cannot all be as worldly, enlightened, and open minded as you Sandra. Me, I just lounge around in my trailer chewing tobacco and hitting on my sister, spent my whole life in the great state of Alabama, living on the corner of confederate st. and illiterate ave. I did not even know there were people of a different ethnicity and religion than my own, thanks for enlightening me.

      It just so happens that I am actually Jewish, and writing this from the great state of New York where I currently reside. I spent years of my life living in Russia, Israel, and Canada, I am fluent in three languages and am learning a fourth. I have French, Russian, and Pakistani friends, dated a Colombian girlfriend, and am currently living with two Chinese roommates. So to put it bluntly, your multicultural credentials fail to impress me.

      From my personal experience, some of the most shallow, unenlightened, and ignorant people come from NYC. People who think that all of life’s necessities can be found in Manhattan, who have never climbed a mountain or gone fishing, who have never seen the inside of a religious house and do not know anyone who did, and who do not notice the filth, rats, smog, crime, and poverty around them because they have never seen the alternative.

      Come back soon Sandra.

      • I just can’t leave this one alone. Sandra could not be more wrong, just as she could not be more liberal in her self-description. What she also could not be is an observant conservative or orthodox jew because her lifestyle choices would conflict too much with that. And therein lies the rub. Liberality connotes license (and clearly her personal choices require it.) Secular, cultural Judaism is the norm within the Jewish community. Rabbis and other worldly-successful, influential jews are all about what makes them comfortable and “beyond” a literal interpretation of Torah.

        My father is Jewish (mom was raised Catholic). I’m no hick. I’ve lived on three continents and speak many languages besides English. I’ve also lived in cities (at home and abroad), as well as in rural and suburban communities. I recently was interviewed at our local TV station about my Messianic Judaism. Though I consider myself a protestant more than anything else if I must wear a label, I’ve always just preferred to be called a “Christian” without additional qualifiers. Right now I teach at a Christian school. So I would argue that not only does this article (and its comments) apply directly to me, but that I have just as much reason to answer this as Sandra.

        From my perspective, Jewish liberalism results from the combination of dominant academic trends, and the widespread Jewish cultural proclivity toward academia. Jewish kids may not be smarter than other kids, but they WILL go to college AND GRADUATE, or else they will find themselves cut off. Seriously.

        That means Jewish kids are expected to do their homework consistently, never to bring home a grade below a B without a very good explanation, and to set themselves up to go to the best school their family can afford. THIS IS THEIR JOB–IT’S NOT JUST MOM’S & DAD’S PREFERENCES–THE EXTENDED FAMILY AND JEWISH COMMUNITY ARE ALL ON BOARD. Athletics are fine IF they can do sports without their GPA taking a big hit. Music is at least as encouraged (as are many other performing and fine arts). Most Jewish homes are erudite and conversation tends towards politics, economics, philosophy, literature, the arts, professional and college sports, AND PROFESSIONAL CAREERS (law, medicine, senior management, etc.).

        In order to facilitate an unbroken tradition of academic success, Jewish families (especially the more secular ones) have become keepers of dominant academic traditions. At present academia is VERY liberal, so that’s where the majority of Jews are too. What’s ironic is that, while the right, with its fundamentalist Christian base, is very much pro-Israel, most Jews still hate them for even believing in God, being relatively unworldly/unsophisticated/uneducated, and due to a number of false assertions relating them to Hitler (I’m not kidding about that last point). As intellectual as they are, the broad Jewish community believes what the news tells them because Brad Turell makes and shapes it. They tend to see Oprah and The View as relatively fair and impartial. They hold that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Alan Greenspan are/were right about almost everything. They think Jon Stewart and Bill Maher are wise and witty spokespersons of collective American Judaism on social and political issues of import. They view Josh Hammer is the single best resource for understanding Israel. They also think that anything financially important beyond what Greenspan’s t addressed can be learned from Clark Howard. Of course they know Abraham Foxman is right about antisemitism (everybody really does hate us). They count Streisand as the finest female vocalist of our time, Richard Dreyfus as the greatest actor (Adam Sandler, Billy Crystal, Mel Brookes or George Burns is the funniest depending on how old the person you ask), Natalie Portman as the smartest (and sexiest) actress, and think the only really great movies are Steven Spielberg films. That’s only a small sampling of influential Jews in America and the VAST majority of them are ultra-liberal.
        Oh, I failed to mention George Soros and Steve Ballmer. Yeah, some Jews are rich.

        But things could change. If the antisemitic, pro-Muslim progressives (AKA Communists) gain enough ascendancy and alienate enough observant Jews, the rabbis and the Old Guard might wake up. If that happens, we could experience a sea change. Already there are notable, influential Jewish conservatives ready to liberate the propagandized Jewish masses from their intellectual bondage. A few you may know are Ari Fleischer, Ben Stein, David Horowitz, Eric Cantor, Henry Kissinger, Charles Krauthammer, Jennifer Rubin, Dennis Prager, Paul Wolfowitz, Michael Medved, Norman Podhoretz, Laura Schlessinger, Andrew Breitbart (RIP) and (WAIT FOR IT FELLOW BLOGGERS)…Matt Drudge! (And that’s only a short list.) This trend is noted at http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/02/17/young-jewish-conservatives-make-a-name-for-themselves-at-cpac/ among other places.

        In my experience Jews hate being lied to. Once a previously credible source is caught in a lie, all bets are off. Obama is so far down that road that I think what he assumes as Jewish support is not really there–but don’t quote me on this–there are still many Jews who hero worship him.

        Well, more than ’nuff said.

    • Well, Sandra, since you are wrong on all accounts listed above, you must feel kind of stupid. We have current posters living in Macedonia and Japan as well as a Russian Jewish immigrant and a half-anglo, half Korean blogger. And that’s just for starters. I personally have strong ties (through my family), and therefore friends in, Uganda and Mexico who I interact with on a regular basis. Just because we haven’t swallowed the idiocy of liberalism or embraced moral and intellectual bankruptcy or surrendered to the silly utopianism of socialism hardly qualifies us for your stereotypically ignorant insults.

      And since when is being ‘anglo’ a bad thing?

  6. Jews that live in our free America that vote for Democraps don’t have to live in Israel. Hypo’s .

  7. It really makes no sense…especially after Obama’s last remarks to Israel and its PM. The socialist crazies have taken control of the Dem party and most of the moderates have fled and are looking for the GOP to help their cause. Big govt GOP members are loosing favor and fiscal conservatives have taken more of a foot-hold. The jewish communities should realize that govt does the worst job at everything compared to a private equivalent. Charity is the exact same. Who does a better job at helping people, your federal govt or your local temple?
    **Most should look back at what we have found out about FDR’s policies… they actually hurt our country. They extended the Great Depression by 7 years… creating a 15 yr depression instead of a much shorter one… inevitably hurting everyone along with the extension.

  8. I am Jewish and I am the only conservative in my family (other than my husband and my kids). The poster who suggested that Jews vote Democrat because that’s what they’ve always done hit it right on the head. I asked my grandmother once why she voted Democrat and didn’t she realize that they were lying to her (this was in the ’90s). Her response was, “Who cares?” (about the Democrats lying) and her family has always voted Democrat so she’s going to vote Democrat too.

    The rest of my family has a similar attitude. Basically,to my family, not voting Democrat is akin to me turning my back on my family. Well, they know I don’t vote Democrat and the world didn’t end. The family didn’t disown me, they still talk to me and they still love me, even if they don’t agree with me.
    So, perhaps for some Jews, the threat of losing the love of their family keeps them voting Democrat. Just a speculation.

  9. I heard some political pundit on the radio say that most Jewish people live like Presbyterians but vote like Puerto Ricans.

  10. MY FAMILY IS JEWISH…MY FRIENDS ARE JEWISH….OUR PARTY IS REPUBLICAN…BUT WE ARE ALSO PUZZLED BY THIS MISGUIDED LOYALTY TO A PARTY WHICH HATES JEWS…GO FIGURE!!!!

  11. Jews vote Democratic because they are smarter than most.

    • We’re NOT smarter–we just work harder. But we ARE intellectually arrogant (we’re a lot like the purveyors of our favorite ethnic foods, LOL!).

      The sad truth is that the Jewish work ethic is fantastic. Economically, we hurt ourselves by voting for tax-and-spend, big government. In terms of spooky Nazi parallels, I wonder if we’ll also figure that out here when they start rounding us up “for our own safety.”

  12. Just like the black voters. They vote for the Democrats who constantly work against them. Does make a person wonder. There is no understanding to this logic.

  13. I think a major factor is that a large proportion of the American Jewish population reside in areas where the voting preference is democrat. That’s one factor, the other is that despite the conservatism of many in the Jewish community, they come from a community that has had to endure widespread discrimination, and perhaps feel that the democrats are more “open tent, open minded” . A third possible, although I think less likely factor, is what is felt to be a dominance of evangelical Christianity within the republican party.

  14. Thanks for the insight into the enigma. Unfortunately, the wake-up call for liberal Jews may soon sound.

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